The outstanding achievements of those working on the frontline for Sussex Police to keep our communities safe have been recognised at a ceremony on Monday (13 December).

Each accolade underlines the pride, commitment, dedication to duty and service while also showcasing the selfless acts of bravery and extraordinary acts to protect others.

The nominations ranged from officers putting their lives in danger to detain a suspect, working with young people to deter them from committing crime and preventing someone taking their own life

The recipients at Monday’s event were presented with a Chief Constable’s Commendation, Judge’s Commendation or Royal Humane Society award.

There were also long service award certificates for officers who have served 20 years in the force and they received a medal in recognition of service and good conduct.

PC Sarah Poplett and PC Emily Dudley received a Chief Constable’s Commendation for their work alongside Jo Wickens from children’s services who worked together over several months to reduce anti social behaviour (ASB), violence and drugs harm associated with a specific cohort of young people in Uckfield.

Over the course of three months, the two officers carried out 28 home visits to the identified young people associated with Operation Asteroid – a long term operation to deal with youths committing ASB in Uckfield.

Their consistent engagement helped build rapport with these specific young people (and their parents) leading to signposting and referral to diversionary activity.

Three months of this approach resulted in some significant reductions in crime and ASB (+90%) associated with the young people.

Another recipient of the Chief Constables Commendation was PC Jack Judd who attended a fire in Kemp Town, Brighton in May 2020.

When he arrived he could see black smoke and flames coming from the building, he was approached by a member of the public who told him there was a man inside the property who was very ill.

Without thinking of his own safety, he climbed over several high walls and over a flimsy plastic roof in order to reach the injured man. His quick thinking and bravery gave the man the best possible chance of survival.

PC Judd was commended for his bravery and also received a Royal Humane Society award.

Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner presented awards to the recipients at Pangdean Old Barn, Brighton, which was also attended by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne along with the Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex and High Sheriff of West Sussex.

Chief Constable Jo Shiner said: “It was an honour to present these awards and a privilege to hear some of their incredible stories which highlights the dedication police officers and staff in Sussex have to keeping our communities safe. 

“Every day our courageous officers demonstrate how they have to trust their judgement and know when to be authoritative and when to show compassion to ensure the beneficial outcome.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “As always I am in awe of the courage and dedication shown by Sussex police officers and staff in the course of their duties. The range of scenarios highlighted by these awards prove how police never know what to expect when they arrive at an incident. Their bravery and commitment to serving the public has to be hugely admired.

“As for the officers receiving long service awards, the people of Sussex are enormously grateful to those who have given up at least 20 years of their working life to protecting the community. It was an honour for me to attend the ceremony and witness the awards being given.”